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Looking at Mao Zedong (Grade 8)

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Looking at Mao Zedong

Celebrating a Leader

Mao Zedong is considered a highly regarded founding leader of the People's Republic of China. He was a great revolutionary and strategist who transformed China. Mao led China to victory in the Chinese Civil War and turned the country into a major power. Mao put an end to two decades of international and civil war and lifted China through his policies. When China became a republic on 1 October 1949, Mao became the Chairman of the People's Republic of China. Mao is also considered one of the most influential poets of modern China. An avid poet and calligrapher, Mao wrote traditional Chinese verses. His poetry is part of mandatory reading in Chinese elementary schools.


Passage 2

The Truth behind Mao

Many historians and academics criticize Mao Zedong's political career. They claim his social and political programs only harmed China's domestic progress. Mao's "The Great Leap Forward" program and the Cultural Revolution only led the country backwards. Critics argue that these programs hurt China's culture, society, and economy. Mao's land reform movement took away life-savings from many landowners. Mao ran numerous campaigns to suppress his political enemies. Historians remind us that Mao ordered mass killings of many people who did not support his revolution. Many of Mao's enemies were publicly executed. Mao also damaged China's relations with the rest of the world.
1. 
Who was Mao Zedong?



2. 
Which of these best describes the similarities between the two passages?
  1. Both passages discuss Mao's influence in China.
  2. Both passages describe the Chinese Civil War.
  3. Both passages portray Mao as a literary figure.
  4. Both passages show China's foreign relations.
3. 
How does the author of passage 2 distance himself from the critique?
  1. He attributes the negative ideas to others
  2. He says he has no opinion on the leader
  3. He argues in favor of the leader
  4. He includes his own opinions and beliefs
4. 
Cite one sentence that shows how the author of Passage 2 feels about Mao Zedong.



5. 
How does the author of Passage 1's opinion of Mao Zedong differ from the author of Passage 2's opinion?



6. 
What information does the author of Passage 1 include that the author of Passage 2 leaves out?



7. 
Passage 1 says that Mao Zedong helped China become a world power. How does Passage 2 refute that claim?



8. 
What is one thing both passages have in common?
  1. Both share negative opinions about Mao Zedong
  2. Both share positive opinions about Mao Zedong
  3. Both fail to show both sides of the issue
  4. Both fail to include supporting details
9. 
List what you learn about Mao Zedong from both passages.



10. 
Contrast the two passages using the chart below.
At the top write the main issue and on each side write the main points for one of the passages.
Character Traits



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